Relax! Yoga helps the heart, research at KU Hospital says

By Alan Bavely, Originally Posted on KansasCity.com

Thanks to research under way at KU Hospital, some heart patients are finding benefits in yoga.

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Image via TexasHeartHealth.wordpress.com
The same kind of exercise that can bring peace to your mind may bring peace to your heart as well.

Research at the University of Kansas Hospital is finding that regular time spent doing yoga breathing and stretching exercises may help keep potentially dangerous heart rhythm disorders in check.

A KU Hospital study published this week in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology finds that as little as two one-hour yoga sessions per week can help significantly reduce the number of episodes of rapid, out-of-control heartbeats experienced by patients with atrial fibrillation. These patients also cut their blood pressure and lowered their levels of anxiety and depression.

The results of this preliminary study are so promising, two similar yoga studies at KU Hospital are enrolling patients with other disorders that cause faulty heart rhythms.

“Yoga is not a solution in itself, but it provides very profound effects,” said KU heart specialist Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy. “It’s not a drug, it’s not a (medical procedure). It’s something you can do in your living room for not very much money.”

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